Priest in gay porn primary school accident says goodbye

The Catholic priest who accidently showed 16 gay porn images to a group of 30 parents at a primary school in Northern Ireland is to leave the area.

Father Martin McVeigh, the parish Priest of Pomeroy in County Tyrone, announced his decision in the parish bulletin.

St Mary's Pomeroy

The last month has been the most difficult of my life. I refer to the meeting of 26 March last with parents of P4/R4 in Saint Mary’s Primary School and my presentation prepared for the upcoming First Holy Communion.

I deeply regret my failure to check, in advance, my presentation. I had no knowledge of any offending imagery existing in it. After the images were inadvertently shown, I immediately removed the memory stick from the laptop. In my shock and upset and in my concern to ensure that the images would never be shown again, I destroyed it later that evening.

I appreciate that the incident at the meeting was very serious in nature and caused much anxiety and distress, particularly to those who were present on the evening in question and I apologise unreservedly for the hurt caused. I want to assure you however that I was not responsible for the presence of the offending images and in this respect I ask you to accept my innocence.

In the hope of bringing resolution and healing to the division and pain within the parish, I have taken the decision to ask Cardinal Brady to allow me to leave the parish of Pomeroy and to take sabbatical leave. … Finally, I ask you for your forgiveness for all the hurt and turmoil caused. I remain committed to my priestly vocation and want you all to know that you will be foremost in my thoughts and prayers and I humbly ask for a remembrance in yours.
Fr Martin McVeigh
28 April 2012

Echoes of Father Ted TV comedy

This saga has been much like episode of the Father Ted TV comedy, but with real world worried parents confusing a display of gay porn with clerical child abuse, and the Cardinal in a great muddle.


Austria’s Gay Parish Councillor: A Sequel

After Cardinal Schonborn overruled a parish priest’s refusal to allow a partnered gay man to serve on his parish council, the priest concerned, Fr. Gerhard Swierzek, announced that he would be seeking another assignment, as his priestly conscience would not allow to work with a councillor who was plainly “living in sin”.

It seems though, that he has fewer scruples about adhering to Church teaching in the matter of his own (hetero) sexual activities.

On Easter Monday, Fr. Gerhard Swierzek, priest of the parish where Stangl is now serving on the parish council, announced that he was seeking a new parish assignment. “Living in sin cannot be the norm,” he said. “I have a priestly conscience and respect divine and canon law.”

Shortly afterward a woman said in a detailed interview with the Austrian daily Kurier that Swierzek had had an affair with her for three years in his former parish of Pressbaum. Eva-Maria Mahrer said Swierzek “broke the celibacy rule. To hear him moralize like this and speak of sinners was just too much for me, so I decided to tell my story.”

Events in Stützenhofen refueled the priestly celibacy discussion and further damaged the church’s credibility. They have also strengthened the cause of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative.

via  National Catholic Reporter.

(The extract quoted comes as a closing aside to a useful reflection by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, an Austrian correspondent for The Tablet on the state of the Austrian church, one year after the launch of the priests’ call to disobedience: For a year now, Austrian Catholics debate obedience).

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Equal Marriage – Catholic Tories divided

The Mail on Sunday reported that the Tory Chief Whip, Patrick McLoughlin, who is a Catholic with one of the worst voting records on lesbian and gay rights, is privately telling anxious Tory MPs that the coalition government’s plans for marriage equality will be “kicked into the long grass”. However neither the Mail nor PinkNews could confirm this report with him, and the Prime Minister’s spokeperson wouldn’t comment on any private remarks supposedly made by Patrick McLoughlin.

gay marriage threatens nothing, so what are you so scared of? A spokesperson for Prime Minister’s office told both the Mail and PinkNews that Mr Cameron and the government remain “fully committed” to marriage equality.

Major LGB Equality Conversion for Catholic Iain Duncan Smith

Meanwhile another senior Tory Catholic MP, the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, on Friday publicly stated he supported marriage equality. This is a major personal conversion and is a complete change of his views. He pointed out in an interview in The Times that in a country where so many heterosexual couples are breaking up, marriage equality is a positive method of creating a more stable society.

Work and Pensions Secretary, and Catholic MP, Iain Duncan Smith“I’m for things that are about stability. I think our biggest problem is actually with cohabiting parents breaking up at the rate they do — heterosexual cohabitees, not gay couples — because they’re the ones leaving the trail of devastation afterwards.”

This is a remarkable conversion to lesbian and gay equality for the former leader of the Conservative Party, who is on the socially conservative wing of the party. He’s a Catholic MP with a very long record of opposing lesbian and gay rights: as Tory leader he made it party policy to opposed equal adoption rights, opposed the repeal of the notorious Section 28 (which effectively banned discussion of homosexuality in schools), and has voted against the Civil Partnerships, opposed equal access to fertility treatments for lesbians, and argued LGB partners of parents should have less rights than heterosexual partners of parents.


Row over Women Speakers for ‘Catholic Voices’

A row has erupted over speakers chosen by ‘Catholic Voices’ for their next training session about Women in the Church. ‘Catholic Voices’ is the lay media mouthpiece of the English and Welsh Catholic Bishops.

The topic has extra relevance right now because the Pope has just parked his tanks on the lawn of USA Catholic women religious leaders who are members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). This is the USA association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious, Nuns to you and me. It has more than 1500 members, and represents more than 80 percent of the 57,000 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, the conference assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.

Advert on London bus calling on Pope to Ordain Women

The Pope detects dissent in LCWR from the patiarchal male views of the Vatican and US hierarchy and all dissent must be snuffed out. He made this very clear at the Mass on Holy Thursday at St Peter’s when he ordered Austrian Catholic Priests to get back into line. Several Irish Priests have also been silenced very recently.

Some commentators have noticed that the timing of the heavy-handed intervention against American Nuns is highly convenient for diverting attention from the major criminal trial in Philadelphia into clerical child sex abuse, bishop cover-ups and their links to Rome.

no dissent, no lesbians, no women priests, no abortion, no contraception 

‘Catholic Voices’, which seeks to promote the official Church view in the media, has recently spoken in the media against legalising gay marriage equality and in favour of teaching school children to campaign against this.


Pope’s envoy tells Bishops: ‘get tough on gay marriage’

The Pope’s link-man to the Bishops of Great Britain, the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, had a tough message for English and Welsh Bishops from the Pope about gay (and heterosexual) marriages. He gave the same lecture the Pope gave the US Bishops.

“Particular mention must be made of the powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage. The Church’s conscientious effort to resist this pressure calls for a reasoned defence of marriage as a natural institution consisting of a specific communion of persons, essentially rooted in the complimentarity of the sexes and oriented to procreation.

British Marriages by Civil and Religious DenominationSexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage. Defending the institution of marriage as a social reality is ultimately a question of justice, since it entails safeguarding the good of the entire human community and the rights of parents and children alike.”

Importance of beliefs to Catholics - opposing gay marriage only matters to 35% of Catholics

opposing gay marriage only matters to 35% of Catholics


Cardinal O’Brien tells Prime Minister to deal with poverty

In a BBC interview with Cardinal Keith O’Brien of St Andrews and Edinburgh in Scotland, the Cardinal had some tough words for prime minister David Cameron about the government needing to deal with poverty. He accused the prime minister of acting immorally by favouring the rich before ordinary citizens affected by the recession. The cardinal denounced David Cameron’s opposition to a “Robin Hood tax” on financial institutions. And he urged Mr Cameron not just to help “your very rich colleagues”.

Robin Hood champions at Westminster

Call for ‘Robin Hood tax’
The cardinal said it was immoral “just to ignore” those who were suffering as a result of recent financial disasters. In a BBC Scotland interview, he said: “My message to David Cameron, as the head of our government, is to seriously think again about this Robin Hood tax, the tax to help the poor by taking a little bit from the rich.

“The poor have suffered tremendously from the financial disasters of recent years and nothing, really, has been done by the very rich people to help them. And I am saying to the prime minister, look, don’t just protect your very rich colleagues in the financial industry, consider the moral obligation to help the poor of our country. It is not moral just to ignore them and to say ‘struggle along’, while the rich can go sailing along in their own sweet way”


Jim’s Links

One of my regrets at this site is that I never have the time (and sometimes the inclination) to follow through on all the  variety of issues that need to be better known and understood, that come to my attention. What appears on site is just a fraction of what I am seeing and thinking about. There is much more that I see and think about, and some that gets drafted but never posted.

One way to disseminate more of this information is simply to share links, without comment. One of my readers sends me a regular avalanche of links to worthwhile news stories. A few of these I expand on, many more I read and ignore. It now seems to me that this is a waste of a useful resource. If I am unable to prepare a sensible commentary on these stories and reports, there is still value in simply sharing the links, so that you too may get the benefit of Jim’s industry in gathering and sharing them.

Here are Jim’s links for just the past few days, together with the descriptions he placed in his email headers:



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Gove investigates Catholic school petition on gay marriage | World news | The Observer

The British Catholic Education Service could be in trouble with the law over it’s role in encouraging students to sign a petition against gay marriage:

Gove investigates Catholic school petition on gay marriage  

The education secretary, Michael Gove, is to examine claims that rules were breached when Catholic schools were asked to encourage their pupils to sign a national petition against gay marriage.

The Catholic Education Service (CES) wrote to nearly 400 British secondary schools to encourage support for the petition organised by Coalition for Marriage, a Christian campaign that has registered more than 47,000 signatures for its campaign.

A spokesman for the Department for Education said yesterday that it was looking into complaints that the request violated regulations concerning impartiality.

“Schools have a responsibility under law to ensure children are insulated from political activity and campaigning in the classroom,” the spokesman said. “While faith schools, rightly, have the freedom to teach about sexual relations and marriage in the context of their own religion, that should not extend to political campaigning.”

The Observer.

The CES insistence that it is simply presenting church teaching is misleading. It is one thing to offer guidance on how to conduct their own lives, but quite another to encourage them to impose those views through the political process on people of other faiths, or of none. The letter sent to schools, and the encouragement to support the petition against gay marriage, is a direct intervention in a political process, and is unacceptable.

It is particularly scandalous that the letter was distributed to even the youngest pupils in Catholic secondary schools, amounting to completely inappropriate manipulation and abuse of young minds.

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CLGS Boswell Lecture, 2008: Dale B Martin.

In 2008, Dale B Martin (author of Sex and the Single Savior) delivered the John E Boswell lecture at the Centre for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the Pacific School of Religion.

Watch, listen and reflect.



The Pacific School of Religion Centre for Lesbian and Gay Studies is a great resource for a wide range of materials on faith and sexuality. QTC contributor Chris Morley has helpfully listed a summary of these in the comment thread, which I have now reproduced below.

See  here, for a PDF file for the full text of White’s lecture.


A Voyage of Discovery & Refocussing : “Sex and the Single Saviour”

Last week, a reader and contributor who is a theology student, Advocatus Diaboli, sent me an email message strongly recommending a book by Dale B Martin, “Sex and the Single Savior“.

We have been debating homosexuality and scripture for the past few days in one of my classes, and my professor gave me a book that I think that you might find very interesting. It is written by the director of graduate studies at Yale University, and he specializes in New Testament and Christian Origins (and sexuality and gender within those topics). This book is of the highest quality research and credentials available today, and neatly summarizes the latest advancements and knowledge in the field. 

I recognized the name “Dale B Martin”, (but not the context), and set about tracking down some reviews, which I found encouraging. When I headed off to London on Wednesday for a meeting, I popped into Foyle’s to see if they had a copy I could dip into, and consider buying. They did not, but I found instead “Unprotected Texts“, by Jennifer Knust, a book that I had read about last year. I bought Unprotected Texts on the spot, and yesterday, ordered  ”Sex and the Single Saviour” from Amazon, which has now arrived.


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